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Routes in Battle Mountain

Plumb Line T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Description

Battle Mountain is an ~1000' tall wall in the southern reaches of the Castle Crags wilderness. Due to the southern exposure, the best times to climb here will be spring and fall, as it's generally too hot in the summer, and snowed-in in the winter. If climbing in the early spring, you may find snow in the descent gully. What you probably won't find are any other climbing parties! This wall is home to the moderate classic Plumb Line (5.10a, ~8 pitches), as well as a handful of other routes.

Getting There

Getting to the base of Battle Mountain is somewhat complex and a bit hard to describe. The formation doesn't appear to get a ton of traffic so don't expect a well-worn climbers trail. Allow 2.5-3 hours for the approach, maybe more if it's your first time.

Approach: park at the Sulphur Creek trailhead and hike uphill for ~20 minutes until you reach the PCT. Take a right and hike on the PCT for ~40 minutes on generally flat terrrain until you're southeast of Battle Mountain. Cross a small creek and leave the PCT, heading northeast through the woods. After ~5 minutes, you'll recross the creek and climb a steep, loose slope to the west, shortly gaining a ridge. Follow this ridge the rest of the way to the base; it's a bit brushy for the first 1/3, then opens up. The last bit to the base is 3rd class slabs.

Descent: mostly (somewhat loose) 3rd class with a couple of single-rope rappels. From the notch ~50' below the summit proper, drop into the obvious gully to the west, do a longer rappel, descend a bit more, then do a short rappel. After the second rappel it gets a bit brushy; keep dropping until a point where a larger gully comes in from the right, then start contouring left around the base (DO NOT keep descending the gully). This catwalk leads behind Baxter Dome and will take you back to the base. Sticking as close as possible to the wall is pretty brushy but will keep you from getting off-track. At some point you'll intersect a more well-defined descent trail. Expect 1.5 hours from the summit back to the base of the wall, and another 2 hours from the base to the trailhead.

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